The overall experience remains one of the best in gaming, and Polyphony proves once more that when it comes to realistic racing, it's on a whole different plane than the competition. When you get through the distractions and it's just you and the open road, the game is poetry in motion. It's easy to lose yourself in the moment and just imagine for a second that you're really driving that super-powered beast of a machine and doing a pretty good job of it. It's these moments that make the wait well worth it and prove that no matter how long we had to wait, Gran Turismo 5 delivers.
Just Cause 2 is just so darn enjoyable. You can always take comfort in knowing that there's something to blow up just over the next hill, and sending a tower of flames into the sky will make it all better. This is also the perfect game for the ADD generation, as you can't walk 100 yards in any direction without running smack into something to do. This is pure, mindless fun and once you pick it up, it's near-impossible to ever put it back down.
Pokémon HeartGold still stands up as one of the best games in the series, even if it is a remake. Those who missed out on Pokémon Gold the first time around absolutely need to give this game a try, and even those who have already played through this adventure a decade ago should check out the upgrades and new features in this edition. The PokeWalker alone makes this a worthwhile experience and a game well worth playing. If you've ever had the slightest urge to hit the road and snag some Pokémon, then this is the perfect game for you.
Bond is back, and GoldenEye 007 is the game that Bond fans have been waiting for. It's everything that was great about GoldenEye but successfully updated for a modern Bond and modern gaming. GoldenEye 007 is the best Bond game in years.
There aren't any radical departures from the original in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. Though its gameplay mechanics are dated, they still hold up just as well as they always have. The changes, such as the new Battle.net and the removal of strict linearity of the campaign mode, round out the game quite nicely. The title is more of the same, but it's been polished to the point that it would be difficult to make it any more modern without losing the franchise's strong core. StarCraft II is a surprisingly full experience.
God of War: Ghost of Sparta is still a God of War game, and it is still fun to play. When it is on, it is on, and there are some awesome sequences that are a lot of fun to play. The gameplay is functionally unchanged from the previous games, and fans of the franchise should find it easy to jump in. If you're eager for more of Kratos' adventures, then Ghost of Sparta will certainly fill the order.
Sonic Colors is a fantastic game. Its greatest achievement is that one does not have to be a super-tolerant dyed-in-the-wool Sonic super fan to enjoy it or to forgive a laundry list of flaws. However, just like in the days of 16-bit, if you go in expecting Mario, you'll be in for a shock as often as you'll feel like you're in familiar territory. It's unique from just about any other run-and-jump, hop-and-bop action game, and as mentioned at the beginning of the review, it's taken a long time for Sonic to find an established formula that really worked for him since he went polygonal. Any problems one might have with Sonic Colors are impossible to attribute to any lack of design prowess, quality control or polish. Sonic Colors has it all, and, at least from where I stand, it deserves your cash and support. If you like action games, or if you're a fan of the platforming genre as a whole, then you owe it to yourself to at least try this.
Playing Heavy Rain is like watching a movie where you can alter the actions on-screen. The gameplay elements are a bit simple, but it's impossible to deny that the level of interaction is just right to get you engrossed in what is transpiring on-screen. Heavy Rain is more of an experience than a game, and as far as an experience goes, it does an impressive job and is truly unlike anything else on the market.
Persona 3 Portable contains enough new features to make it a worthwhile purchase. For those who've never played Persona 3 before, this is easily the best version to pick up, as the game has aged wonderfully and remains one of the best titles on the market. If you're a PSP owner with a fondness for RPGs, you owe it to yourself to pick up Persona 3 Portable. It's the best RPG on the system and is a must-have for anyone even remotely interested in the genre.
Kirby's Epic Yarn is charming, fun and easy to play, while well-designed enough that the lack of challenge doesn't become boring. The visuals are beautiful, and the art design is phenomenal. Few games are as flat-out fun as this one. If you're not afraid of a little cuteness, you must play Kirby's Epic Yarn.
Professor Layton and the Unwound Future is every puzzle-lover's dream. The game is absolutely overflowing with content, and the emotional, intriguing story will keep you hooked right through the end.
The demos hardly do the complete game justice. From its unabashedly virtual vixen of a leading lady to the bloody apocalypse that she rains down on her enemies, Bayonetta isn't for everyone, especially if they take its glib humor far more seriously than it takes itself. With its blend of cutting-edge action and scintillating adventure, Bayonetta comes across as an explosion of ideas that Kamiya and his crew may have had since their work on Devil May Cry. In many ways, Bayonetta is the culmination of that effort. It's the wildest ride yet.
Puzzle Quest 2 is a fine sequel that is sure to please fans of the original as well as draw in plenty of new players. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it doesn't really have to. Combine the solid gameplay with a budget-minded retail price of 1,200 Microsoft points ($15), and you have a game that's difficult to pass up.
If multiplayer is your thing, Halo: Reach is a must-have title. If you're a hardcore Halo fan looking to flesh out the story and really want more of the same, then pick it up. Reach is fun, but it doesn't provide the same kick in the ass as your first time through the original Halo.